It is pretty clear that 2016 is going to be a VR year with the release of three major headsets with the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and the PlayStation VR. This means that an age of Virtual Reality is upon us, but the big question is which one of the major three will come out on top. That is dependent on how powerful that it is, the content, but the big deciding factor could end up being the price.
According to the Irish Examiner, the PlayStation VR doesn't have a price, but PlayStation executive Vice President Masayasu Ito says that "it has to be affordable". This is the issue with Virtual Reality is more is required than just a headset, as you have to have a good computer to affix it to.
At this present time, there are several VR headsets ready to hit the market sometime this month. One of them is the Oculus Rift, which will cost $599 before tax, shipping, and any other factors. It will come with the headset, camera, Xbox One controller, and EVE: Valkyrie and Lucky's Tale. That price will increase if you want to purchase a computer that is compatible with it, and there are many options available for that on Best Buy, the Microsoft Store, and Amazon, but the demand for the product is predicted to be high.
The other major VR headset is the HTC Vive, and it is more expensive at $799. This is expected to launch in April, and it will also require a powerful PC to run it.
The issue with the PlayStation VR is set up to work right out of the box with PlayStation 4, which most consumers have and is relatively affordable at a few hundred dollars. This means that it won't be as powerful as the Oculus Rift, which could result in a downgrade of quality.
However, one has to consider the price. If the PlayStation VR is planned to be affordable, and there is a decent amount of games available for it, or games that are already available on the PS4 that can work with it, then it has the chance to dominate the VR market.
Sony is expected to unveil more details about its VR headset on March 15th. According to The Verge, this is when Sony is going to have a press conference at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2016. Part of the press event will be pricing and release dates for the PSVR, as well as a complete VR Buying Guide so that potential users can compare Sony's VR platform with the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Once GDC kicks off, there is going to be a lot heard about Virtual Reality, and this will begin a new kind of console wars as these big three compete to bring the user the best virtual reality experience.